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The Blue Gardenia (1953)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 March 1953 (USA)
A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Norah Larkin
...
Casey Mayo
...
Crystal Carpenter
...
Harry Prebble
...
Sally Ellis
...
Al
...
Ruth Storey ...
Rose Miller
Ray Walker ...
Homer
...
Nat 'King' Cole
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, on the day of her birthday, the telephone operator Norah Larkin decides to celebrate dining alone at home, with the picture of her beloved fiancé, a soldier overseas, and reading his last letter to her. In the letter he tells her that he met an Army nurse stationed in Japan and plans to marry her. Norah, completely upset, accepts to blind date the Don Juan and photographer of calendar girls Harry Prebble. They go to the Blue Gardenia Club, and Norah drinks six strong cocktails Polynesian Pearl Divers and gets completely drunk. Harry takes her to his apartment and tries to force Norah to have sex, and she uses a poker to hit Harry on the head. On the next morning, she wakes-up in her apartment with her two roommates, but she can not remember what happened. When she reads the newspaper, she finds that Harry is dead and the police has her handkerchief, her high heels and her blue gardenia and is chasing the woman that killed the famous wolf Harry. When she reads in the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There was nothing lily-white about her !


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La femme au gardénia  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the record album of the "Tristan and Isolde" music is never shown close enough to the camera for the movie audience to see it, it either is, or has been created to resemble, a typical 78-RPM album set of the 1940's of an RCA Victor recording featuring Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The cover art greatly resembles that of a 78-RPM album pressing featuring Toscanini conducting that orchestra. Toscanini was considered the greatest conductor of that era. See more »

Goofs

It is stated that the record on the turntable was still playing when the body was discovered. This would not have happened because the turntable is a 'record changer' that automatically shuts off when the control arm is engaged and there are no more records in the stack. In the flashback sequence, Harry Prebble is shown activating the control arm. If it had been left disengaged (up and to the side) it would have played the record continuously as mentioned. See more »

Quotes

Casey Mayo: [on the phone] If you want your picture on the paper, you'll have to go out and kill somebody first.
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Connections

Referenced in Django Unchained (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Gardenia
Written by Bob Russell and Lester Lee
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Arranged by Nelson Riddle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Cinderella Murder
5 November 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In The Blue Gardenia, Anne Baxter's feeling low and depressed because her GI fiancé in Korea has given her the brushoff. Against her better judgment she goes out with Raymond Burr, full time artist and full time wolf. A few Polynesian Pearl Divers in the local bar which might have been spiked and Anne's not doing so good. But good enough to hit Burr with a fireplace poker and somehow make her way home like Cinderella with both shoes missing.

George Reeves taking a break from Superman plays the Los Angeles homicide detective gets a little unwanted help from Richard Conte, a Walter Winchell like newspaper columnist who's no doubt thinking of the black dahlia murders in LA a few years because a Blue Gardenia's been left at the crime scene and Nat King Cole both sang it live and on record in the film.

In the meantime Baxter's mood swings are being noticed by her roommates Ann Sothern and Jeff Donnell. And Conte's got his own investigation going into the Blue Gardenia murder. It all makes for one interesting and murky film in the tradition of Fritz Lang.

Anne in a sense does a reprise of her Oscar winning performance from The Razor's Edge as a woman being trapped in tragedy. She blamed herself for her family's death in The Razor's Edge and she may or may not have killed Burr. The only difference is that an arrest might lead to an expiation of sin of a sort.

Fritz Lang made a specialty in harassed and harried protagonists getting themselves into some real jackpots whether it was Henry Fonda in You'll Only Live Once, Edward G. Robinson in Scarlett Street and The Woman In the Window, and we can even count Peter Lorre in M. These are people who in fact were guilty. For the first time however Lang's harried protagonist is a woman and Anne gives a great performance.

One scene I really loved is one with Almira Sessions as a brain dead housekeeper who finds Burr's body and then proceeds to clean up the crime scene. After all as she explains to Reeves this is her job and what she's paid to do. The fact she's destroyed all forensic evidence doesn't seem to impress her in the slightest.

On the other hand had she done like a normal person would have and not touched anything, the forensics would have cleared the whole thing up and we wouldn't have a movie.


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